I recently discovered that “hangry” had been added to the Oxford dictionary. At some point – and this now appears to be official – we reach a point past hunger, where we’re no longer responsible for what we do or say, at least until our blood sugar levels out. Infants are known to totally lose their minds until somebody feeds them, and they repeat the process throughout the day – because food, like oxygen, is a basic need.
The hangry phenomenon put me in mind of Lenten fasting, and more specifically, Matthew 4, where we read how our Lord was led into the wilderness and tempted by Satan. Scripture tells us that, after fasting 40 days and nights, Jesus was hungry. And just then, Satan appeared. Doesn’t that sound just like him?
In our “wilderness times,” when we’re hanging on by our fingernails and they’re breaking fast, don’t we hear a little voice urging us to give up? When we’re at our weakest – probably not after 40 days of fasting – but when we’re tired, depleted, depressed and dejected, don’t we hear that same smarmy voice, reminding us that nothing will ever change, and pressuring us to ask where is God???
How do we wretched sinners emulate our sinless Father? We model His behavior. Each time the devil tempted, Jesus talked back – and each time he answered the enemy, it was with Holy Scripture. With every trap the devil tried to set, Christ replied – It is written…
Ephesians 6:17 reminds us to take up the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. But we can’t fight temptation, or any of life’s battles, with a sword we didn’t know we had. And we can’t rebuke the devil’s lies without knowing what God says is true. And we can’t know what God says unless and until we study His Word.
While we’re fasting this Lent, let’s feast on God’s Word, allowing it to settle into our bones, quiet our hearts, and open our minds to His holy presence.